* Posts by Wellyboot

2151 publicly visible posts • joined 24 Apr 2018

Free software pioneer Richard Stallman is battling cancer

Wellyboot Silver badge

Ditto -

Fingers crossed he beats this quickly

Switch to hit the fan as BT begins prep ahead of analog phone sunset

Wellyboot Silver badge

Re: I want to know the equipment...

ZEN provide a cheap VoIP service and the Fritzbox routers they supply are ready to go once you move your POTS number onto the account

Raspberry Pi 5 revealed, and it should satisfy your need for speed

Wellyboot Silver badge

Thanks Zola

Wellyboot Silver badge

Loss of the audio jack I can understand, it will affect some uses but USB DSP support isn't a big hurdle and the older Pi types can more than cover any audio usage anyway, The fan header is a good inclusion, it'll impart less of a Heath Robinson look to my future projects.

The surprise for me was when i spotted the 'power button', I've not seen any details as to it's operation on the Pi website - does the Pi5 default to booting when power is applied out of the box like all previous PI? Can it be bypassed?

Wellyboot Silver badge

Horses for courses...

Will it velcro to the back of your TV to provide silent streaming from the interwebs?

Wellyboot Silver badge

Re: Lost the plot

M$ is just another O/S option on the Pi, allowing customer choice is a good thing.

EE touts next-gen broadband Smart Hub with Wi-Fi 7 for 2024

Wellyboot Silver badge

ISPs will have QoS internally it's the only sane policy, but extending it outside has a cost.

50Mbps for 8k will be the full rate, add in some compression and transmitting only the changed pixels will bring that down by quite a lot.

77Mbps may well be the UK download rate, Upload rates are way way lower. Any point to point link will only be as fast as the slowest link in either direction, for 99% that'll be the first mile.

You're spot on with peak times, contention rates can be up to 100:1 with the cheaper ISPs.

Wellyboot Silver badge

I did replace router & install a managed switch & mesh setup. Take a look a Draytek kit, not especially cheap but can do what you're after.

No cloud needed to make it work, it's just an option.

Wellyboot Silver badge

Providing QoS isn't a problem for service providers, standards have existed since the last century. The problem is twofold, (A) they want paying for it and (B) most users are still on Asymmetric links.

(A) Anything arriving at a SP edge is treated as best effort unless it's from a client paying for a better service and Joe Public isn't aware that while they can have multiple smooth 4k streams inbound this is due to DisnAmazFlixTube stumping up the cash to get the required QoS & bandwidth from their nearest hub into the service providers.

(B) It doesn't matter if they have multi-gig from device to home router, the majority of people still have sub 20mb/s Broadband uplink rates drip feeding into the interweb.

Call me an Apple fan, says Huawei founder and chief exec

Wellyboot Silver badge

>>>politicians struggled got understand how, despite years of sanctions, Huawei was able to overcome<<<

My guess, A little bit of the 'Hold my beer' mentality that underpins many successful engineering companies.

and a helpful government...

Authors Guild sues OpenAI for using Game of Thrones and other novels to train ChatGPT

Wellyboot Silver badge

Reading the published material is not a crime, using the material for any business purpose or publishing similar works to the detriment of the Author is.

It's the same law Disney use when not getting paid by someone selling micky mouse wallpaper.

Wellyboot Silver badge

Only the living can sue.

Which leaves OpenAI safe to rip off all the dead authors.

Can it write a non derivative Culture or Discworld novel with new characters to the same level as Banks & Pratchett?

Even if it could I wouldn't pay more than printing cost anyway.

*Both cruelly taken far too early

As TikTok surveils staff's office hours, research indicates WFH is good for planet

Wellyboot Silver badge

Re: Impact in performance reviews

During the middle ages the importance given to any nobleman arriving on a battlefield was very much related to the number of armed men he arrived with, the lord arriving with the biggest crew gets to stand beside the King.

Modern office politics is the same process, just with the stabby staby being mostly metaphorical.

California passes bill to set up one-stop data deletion shop

Wellyboot Silver badge

1 US state down, 49 to go?

Ford, BMW, Honda to steer bidirectional EV charging standard

Wellyboot Silver badge

Re: Not sure I'd do this

There isn’t a utility business out there that will build additional generation capacity before it can sell every kWh it will generate, especially as limited supply pushes up the unit price for zero investment.

All this 'borrowing' will result in is an ever narrowing margin between demand and actual grid capacity.

To put it simply, total online generation capacity plus online storage has to cope with peak demand every time.

Total online generation capacity must be capable of charging the online storage over and above the in use demand before the next anticipated peak.

The online bit is crucial, every night, solar capacity is zero, domestic demand will be high charging vehicles & storage depleted during the day, then one day there's a blackout* and everyone will be turning off the grid upload feature to keep their personal lights on a little bit longer - creating a self fulfilling spiral as all the other lights will go out that little bit quicker.

*unexpected failure at an offshore wind farm while another plant was offline for maintenance blacked out a large part of UK a while back, the international power lines were already maxed out on their draw.

Wellyboot Silver badge

Re: Voila!

I also want a 'Mr. Fusion' powered car :)

Wellyboot Silver badge

Re: Voila!

Pascal was quite possibly referring to the fact that the storage requirements in northern Europe come midwinter will be astronomic.

Sunny Madrid & Rome (40/41N) share their latitide with New York, The rest of Europe extends well north of the Arctic circle where it stays dark for months.

During mid-summer I get 16h of daylight, mid-winter it's nearer 8h* with the Sun low in the sky and my solar barely covering it's own running cost.

*With the temp hovering around freezing I burn 1.5Mw/h during that month just on heating my home.

Wellyboot Silver badge

Why not just order pizza & sleep under your desk, you'd not need the house and car then! /sarc

Okay, SMART ePANTS, you tell us how to create network-connected textiles

Wellyboot Silver badge


Mix with a little machine learning and it looks like Bagman from Rogue Trooper will be with us soon.

Bombshell biography: Fearing nuclear war, Musk blocked Starlink to stymie Ukraine attack on Russia

Wellyboot Silver badge

Re: So Musk has blood on his hands

Normally yes. For the Max that didn't matter, the systems could fail AND override the pilots ability to control the aircraft.

There's no 3rd pair of hands in the cockpit any more to disable/override broken things when the two pilots are fully occupied trying keep the thing from nosediving vertically into the landscape, the locked cockpit door (after 911) also prevents any help from the main cabin.

Wellyboot Silver badge

Re: "If Ukraine wants to fight a war with Russia"

Will the next Putin statement threaten Musk with the same again if he doesn't hand over his lunch money?

Wellyboot Silver badge

Re: The report is not completely accurate

Of course, they do also need to know when to use them.

As has always been the case, attacking with the sun behind you gives a really big advantage.

Wellyboot Silver badge

Re: The report is not completely accurate

Russian derived Chinese kit, oh yes, they'll be taking notes and improving the home built offerings, while letting Russia burn itself into the ground trying to beat NATO, the same countries that supplied every one of the allies in WW2. There's a global market of 'we did buy Russian, not any more' out there waiting for a suitable alternative.

A lot of the Chinese military is from the 'one child' generation and it'd not help the CCP internally if too many were families were left childless. (twenty years from now, hmm..)

There's no current way the PLAN could suddenly invade Taiwan without a large casualty bill* and any campaign to clear the path first would have the US military on station demanding they stand down or risk trying their first serious modern war with a top table adversary. (a bit like Argentina did in '82)

All this could be seen as being hasty by forcing a clear win/lose when not losing is the only allowable outcome long term for the CCP.

They appear to have learned from history in their overseas endeavours, think of the various East India Companies (with less shooting) and compare.

I agree, the Chinese will wait.

*against other Chinese citizens because after all Taiwan is just an internal Chinese province with outside influence issues.

Wellyboot Silver badge

Re: So Musk has NOW entered the Ukranian war.......

Any line on a map only has relevance while those on both sides are willing to leave it there, history shows (put simply), area 'A' belongs to country 'X' until either (1) they can't prevent country 'Y'1 from taking over or (2) they decide it's not worth the cost to keep.

Sykes/Picot carving up the middle east after the fall of the Ottoman empire was the best outcome the region was going to get. The formation of a single large new nation covering the most important shipping lanes for the British & French empires just wasn't going to be allowed, West was the Suez canal, East was Persia & India, North was the new nation of Turkey. Turkey was providing a 'just big enough' threat to keep the new USSR honest in it's dealing around the Black sea, so having a bunch of small countries administered by UK/France right next door helped make sure the Turkish sat quietly avoiding becoming a bigger Belgium. As the middle east was reasonably quiet (by local standards) until Israel decided to pop into existence it can be argued that Sykes/Picot was a good result for the local goat herders who didn't give a flying one about whoever was in charge.

After almost every war there are boundary changes, prior to WWI Poland as a nation hadn't existed for over a century after it's was carved up by the neighbours. Post WWI, Poland was carved out of Russia by the locals. Post WWII a lot of lines were changed in central Europe, Poland was extended into previous German territory as the Soviets were not going to give up the eastern half they'd invaded in 1939 (became part of the Belarusian & Ukrainian SSRs)

After Russia successfully captured Crimea in 2014, Ukraine went from a small defensive military capability (because Russia had signed a bit of paper2 promising to protect their borders) to a force capable of putting any invaders knee deep in their own blood3 as Russia is now finding as it tries to create a land bridge across the Ukraine to Crimea4.

For a bit more What-about-ism, is Russia going to hand back the Finnish territory they invaded in 1939 or the Japanese islands captured in 1945, No, because they won those wars and kept the land, when the shooting eventually stops in Ukraine new borders will be drawn somewhere and they'll last until the next leader who thinks they can win.

1 Country 'Y' also includes uppity locals.

2 This one lasted a lot longer than the one from 1938 Germany given to the UK.

3 Arguably the minimum force needed to deter potential aggressors, hello to all our swiss readers :)

4 Having failed to take the entire country last year Ukraine may well feel justified in retaking all of Crimea once the 2014-22 borders are re-established.

Google Chrome Privacy Sandbox open to all: Now websites can tap into your habits directly for ads

Wellyboot Silver badge

>>>"No one would accept all food retailers closing the home baking aisle and forcing everyone to buy their own brand bread. Why would anyone accept Google and Apple’s identical behavior in digital markets?"<<<

Because unless it's being physically shoved into their face, most people don't care about what they can't see.

If all the information being tracked was scrolling across the browser screen* they might start to comprehend.

*You're gonna need a bigger screen!

Google Chrome pushes ahead with targeted ads based on your browser history

Wellyboot Silver badge

no change there then..

The Google/Android environment is built to harvest information for its creators while providing 'nice to have' features that aid in that harvesting.

Preventing other developers* from harvesting the same information is a secondary goal. If third party developers can't operate within the ever shifting boundaries that's their problem and any good ideas they produce can be used to 'inspire' future android features.

From the droidnote

>>>there need to be practical and officially supported mechanisms for advanced users who know what they're doing to override these protections.<<<

Does anyone else think that this could easily become a weak point for mounting attacks?

India lands Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft on Moon, is the first to lunar south pole

Wellyboot Silver badge

Re: Milestone moment

The Chaiwallah will take care of that.

These entrepreneurs have the ability to find a new market only rivalled by CMOT Dibbler*

Wellyboot Silver badge

Re: Milestone moment

Given the total mission* cost (a bit over $51,000 per Kg landed) of actually getting this onto the Moon I would think there's quite an incentive to dig it up locally.

The Lander & rover total up at 1,752Kg.

With a repeat mission basically costing only a rocket and payload (development costs not needed) there's probably scope to land a viable water extraction unit in time to offer the first set of new astronauts a drink - Hint. tea leaves are quite light... (accreditation for this wonderful bit of ISRO PR can be given via the Reg!)

*$90M US give or take

China's top EV battery maker announced a breakthrough, but top boffin isn't convinced

Wellyboot Silver badge

Lifting the charging cable might be more of a problem for some people.


Wellyboot Silver badge

Re: Wait, batteries are rated in km?

At least with public transport systems the battery type can be picked to suit the planned usage, for private cars the battery type will be a trade off tending towards the cheapest that gives the initial 'Range X after Y mins'*.

The average bus also has the advantage of being big enough that simple battery pack swap outs can easily be accommodated in the design, potentially making vehicle charging a moot point for a fleet operator. A return to the past when the bus sales bod would offer a range of engine options from different manufacturers.

*at the end of any warranty period if you're lucky!

Neighbors angry as another North Korean 'satellite' launch attempt fails

Wellyboot Silver badge

Quelle surprise

Did it hit fail exactly where they aimed predicted?

North Korea's neighbors issue warnings ahead of attempted 'satellite' launch

Wellyboot Silver badge

'Unplanned' splashdown

I'm swayed towards the opinion that they're fine tuning the targeting. It wouldn't surprise me that this next launch goes 'wrong' and there's a friendly spy sat directly over the splashdown area to nail down the exact location.

Resilience is overrated when it's not advertised

Wellyboot Silver badge

Re: Failover backup redlining

The load shedding part is vital, that requires a decision as to what's not important enough to spend money on.

Wellyboot Silver badge

Re: Failover backup redlining

What's the betting that 'We're only using a third of the capacity on average so we don't need a full size backup' was part of the conversation.

Beancounters at work again?

Wellyboot Silver badge

Re: Fallback fault-tolerant

They can be.

The backup system having the same capacity as the primary unit certainly helps!

OpenAI's ChatGPT has a left wing bias – at times

Wellyboot Silver badge

The typical opinion of more educated people is spread far wider across the political spectrum than those who consider education as just free childcare.

To answer your question, AI will shift over time towards the broad middle ground (highest correlation?) of whatever it access to, if that included several thousand versions of 'Das Capital' or 'Mein Kamph' rewritten* by AI then there will be a slant in some direction.

Was 19thC enlightened capitalism left wing, right wing or trying to be nice to people because that's what religion tells you? - Some very educated lifetimes have been spent delving into that question and we are still no nearer a definitive answer.

* the rewrites can be gibberish, it's only AI that'll be reading them and the I in AI is more interpretation than intelligence.

80% of execs regret calling employees back to the office

Wellyboot Silver badge

Re: We have expensive real estate.

There's a room in my house that gets utilized 5% of the time, maybe 10% after a military grade curry!

Boffins reckon Mars colony could survive with fewer than two dozen people

Wellyboot Silver badge

Returning to essentially an 18/19 century tech level will require returning to a 18/19 century mix of skilled employment for most of the society up there.

This might lead to very varied employment.

Martian plumber: what's on todays list - aha, Mrs Miggins - leaky tap, Mr Bloggs - jammed hab cistern level, Ms Jones - Mars hopper cryo tank 100 hour service...

Wellyboot Silver badge

This begs the question "what's the minimum tech level needed for autonomous survival" - this isn't the level needed to get there in the first place.

Simple electrics & pneumatics will probably suffice, lots of dials will need watching.

The ability to produce metal (specifically iron) tools from ore is critical for long term survival so mining operations will be required. this needs the full set of heavy duty (maintainable on-site) equipment. You'd only need a 19th century brass & canvas diving suit equivalent with a heater matrix sewn in to move about outside on mars*

Foundries for metals & glass with all the supporting infrastructure could be very steampunk, all that is needed was to find the needed ore deposits.

You can't depend on solar/battery tech (let alone nuke) until it can be 100% manufactured locally so the biggest issues I can see is finding a local easily extracted fuel source on a planet with no oil or coal deposits because having hundred mile square greenhouses for plant based oil will be a fantasy for a few centuries.

Anything can be transported to Mars to get them started but as Duncan (above) states, until the ability to maintain independent life indefinitely has been achieved it's just an outpost with enough supplies to last 'x' years.

*on the end of maybe a 100m long pipe connected to large easily fixable air pumps in a large pressurised environment.

Wellyboot Silver badge

Re: Social organisation?

Breaking away is a bit hard when the group being left behind (much larger?) says "Ok, no air, no fuel & no food for you, have a nice day"

Wellyboot Silver badge


"planners may want to minimize the number of neurotics sent to Mars"

Icon because, did this need to be stated?

Cops cuff pregnant woman for carjacking after facial recog gets it wrong, again

Wellyboot Silver badge

Re: "Facial Recognition" is no worse than any other kind.

Was she arrested in a Gin Joint?

Wellyboot Silver badge

Re: "People of Detroit have called for the end of police use of facial recognition for years"

From the Detroit city website: "James E. White was appointed Chief of the Detroit Police Department on June 1, 2021 and confirmed by Detroit City Council on September 21, 2021. Prior to his appointment, he was selected by the Michigan Department of Civil Rights Commission to lead the Department of Civil Rights." On the face of it they did what they could to get the right person into the job, civil rights being an intrinsic part of police work.

That begs the questions, How long does it take an average plod to transition from assessing the scene in front of them to merely following the procedure regardless of the blindingly obvious? and what can be done about it?

ChatGPT's odds of getting code questions correct are worse than a coin flip

Wellyboot Silver badge

Re: Useful as a guide, not the end-all-be-all

When it comes to writing code GPT being 'Mostly correct' is a good start because you can generally see where it goes wrong, same applies to SO answers.

What happens if a complete novice asks for a recipe and the result includes 'Use raw chicken as a salad garnish' or a simple brake bleeding procedure that omits to explain why even a small amount of air behind the piston is really dangerous.

Having a reasonably good knowledge of a subject should be in place before asking GPT for assistance otherwise the answers will eventually kill someone.

MIT boffins build battery alternative out of cement, carbon black, water

Wellyboot Silver badge

The majority of cement emission can be removed by moving to electric production & transport.

The biggest problem is always that the total annual KW generated by HC fuels has to be replaced by the same level of CO2 electric generation - it's a scary big number.

Wellyboot Silver badge

Re: So what's stopping all that energy ...

Oh, and what happens when lightning strikes it...

Wellyboot Silver badge

Re: So what's stopping all that energy ...

Building foundations as a series of concrete tanks with this as an infill would get around most construction issues, I can see it being used under commercial buildings with large floor areas to achieve quite impressive capacity levels.

Of course the cost will be interesting, green cement production requires a vast amount of electricity and to use this stuff will probably require a large multiple of the current concrete volumes involved in construction, all of which has to be transported in bulk.

Before I'd put this under any building I'd really want to know how long it will last as electrical storage.

Wellyboot Silver badge

That'd be a concrete slab per floor, requiring some hefty wall structures to go with, It'd certainly remove the problem of noisy kids upstairs!

Aspiration to deploy new UK nuclear reactor every year a 'wish', not a plan

Wellyboot Silver badge

Yes, We really need to get away from professional politicians and towards MPs who are subject matter experts from across real life.

As for a plan. - Are we in an global climate emergency or not? - Nobody objected1 to normal purchasing rules going out the window in the early 2020 health emergency.

The government only needs to pass a law to give itself a carte blanche building permit to deal with the emergency and then tell UK industry to get on with replacing every CO2 producing power station. A bunch of boffins can draw up the list and the current owner/operators get a timeline for when they need to be nuclear operation certified (or lose the nice new plant that UK tax payers are giving them).

Nothing in this prevents any other clean generation capacity from being installed.

Allocating 1%2 of GDP until 2050 would replace the half dozen old Nuke plants we have and also build SMRs by the score. While they’re at it, point the 0.7% GDP foreign aid cash at handing out SMRs to needy small countries as well. This level of production would rapidly bring the economies of scale needed to move away from what is more or less a perpetual stream of expensive one off builds.

1 We all knew then that there'd be 20/20 holier-than-thou hindsight when the cock-up & criminal horror stories eventually emerged.

2 £20Bn give or take

India takes second punt at soft lunar landing with launch of Chandrayaan-3 mission

Wellyboot Silver badge

A space program keeps these educated people in India where they'll be contributing to Indian instead of another countries growth.